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15 super simple Christmas crockpot meals that are ideal for busy families

Save on prep time with these holiday meals

Festive holiday place setting
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If you haven’t discovered the wonders of crockpot cooking, the upcoming holiday season is the ideal time to start. November and December fly by in a rush of shopping, decorating, activities and crafts, and of course, entertaining. With entertaining comes more shopping, preparation, and lots of hours spent in the kitchen. Time is difficult enough to carve out during the holidays, which is what makes crockpot meals such a deliciously simple option.

Crockpots have been around for decades with the slow cooker being introduced to American kitchens in the 40s. It wasn’t until the 70s though that crockpot cooking really started to heat up. Sure, grandma might not approve of making Christmas dinner in a crockpot, but believe it or not, Christmas crockpot meals are just as scrumptious as ones prepared on the stove or in the oven.

It’s true. If you haven’t embraced crockpot cooking yet, the busy holiday rush is the perfect time to give it a try. Crockpot cooking will actually help with that holiday time crunch because it will cut down prep and cooking time.

Healthy veggies ready to go in the crockpot
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Christmas crockpot meals

Crockpot cooking is a huge timesaver during those crazy weeknights when you’re running from school to sports and more. During the holidays, the crockpot really comes in handy. Using a crockpot also frees up valuable oven and stove space, which is often in short supply when you’re hosting Christmas dinner.

With these 10 Christmas crockpot recipes, you’re sure to find a succulent dish for your holiday table that may just become a new holiday favorite. These scrumptious recipes will save time in the kitchen, leaving you more opportunities to enjoy those priceless holiday memories with the family. So, let’s get crockpot cooking with these tasty and simple recipes.


If ham is on your family’s table every December 25, the Frugal Girls have a tasty holiday ham recipe that uses only five ingredients and takes around five minutes to prep.

Garlic herb chicken

Four ingredients and 10 minutes of preparation will get this Frugal Girls’ yummy garlic herb whole chicken recipe on the table for a holiday dinner after four hours of simmering in the crockpot.

Cinnamon rolls

Imagine waking up to the smell of homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. With Sally’s Baking Addition’s simple recipe for cinnamon rolls in the crockpot, you can have a sweet breakfast treat without the work. The dough can be made the night before. Set up the crockpot before waking up the kids and enjoy opening gifts while the cinnamon rolls slow cook for two hours.

Pumpkin red lentil vegetarian chili

This dish from the Kitchen Treaty is not a traditional Christmas dish, but it’s a terrific and tasty option if you have vegetarians or vegans stopping by for a holiday dinner. The pumpkin red lentil chili is easy to make and will be slow cooking in the crockpot while you’re dealing with the turkey.

Quinoa pilaf with wild rice

For a lighter side, gluten-free, and vegetarian dish, try this winter-inspired quinoa pilaf with wild rice, beets, and cranberries from Cotter Crunch. It’s a holiday crockpot recipe you’ll enjoy making all year.

Mashed potatoes

What is Christmas dinner without mashed potatoes? Probably less messy, but mashed potatoes are a holiday staple. The dish is also hard to make lump-free. That’s what makes this Jo Cook’s crockpot recipe for mashed potatoes such a must-do. The end result is creamy, cheesy, and just plain delicious.

Brussels sprouts

This vegetable has gotten a lot of hate over the years. It’s been making a comeback and changing people’s minds about the often-misunderstood Brussels Sprout. Brussels sprouts make for a delightful holiday side dish. The maple syrup is a sweet way to bring out the best side of Brussels sprouts and the cranberries just give the dish from Well Plated by Erin that holiday feel.

Crockpot turkey with garlic butter

If it’s just not Christmas without turkey, never fear. The Recipe Rebel serves up this crockpot turkey recipe. It only requires 10 minutes of prep time. The turkey slow cooks for seven hours and 40 minutes while the kids are opening gifts and playing with their presents. If you’re taking the turkey on the road, it can cook in the crockpot overnight, too.

Crockpot lasagna

Another holiday staple for some families at Christmas dinner is lasagna. Now, don’t think you can’t cook lasagna in the crockpot? You can! The Country Cook has a lasagna recipe that simmers to perfection in the slow cooker and the delicious taste won’t disappoint the family on Christmas.

Creamy crockpot hot chocolate

Leaving hot chocolate for Santa or just want some to drink around the tree on Christmas night while watching a holiday movie? This yummy creamy crockpot hot chocolate recipe from Wishes and Dishes is sure to become a winter favorite.

christmas crockpot meal for the whole family
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More Christmas crockpot meals

If we haven’t inspired you yet to embrace crockpot cooking for the holidays, then here are some more recipes you can whip up in the slow cooker that will wow the family and the relatives around at Christmas dinner this year.

Green beans

For a tasty veggie side this holiday season, try this crockpot recipe for green beans by Taste of Home. With only 10 minutes of prep time, you will have 12 servings of yummy green beans the whole family will love.

Turkey breast

If you are not in the mood to roast a whole turkey for Christmas this year, do turkey breast instead. It is surprisingly easy in this crockpot turkey breast recipe from Quiche my Grits.

Beef short ribs

Do something completely different as a main course this holiday season by making these crockpot beef short ribs from the Roasted Root. It only takes 15 minutes of prep and six hours in the crockpot for this delish dish.

Poached salmon

Many people prefer seafood as the center of Christmas dinner. So, if you’re looking for a fish dish, try this poached salmon recipe from Thinlicious.

Buffalo chicken dip

For an appetizer while the family is opening the gifts, dish out this crockpot buffalo chicken dip from Two Healthy Kitchens.

Tasty meatballs made in a crockpot
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Discover Christmas crockpot meals this holiday season

Food is just another part of the holidays that makes this time of year wonderful. Whipping up tasty dishes in the kitchen is time-consuming though, and time is something busy families don’t have a lot of during the holidays. You can make a delicious meal in the slow cooker for the whole family to enjoy without spending an excessive amount of time and effort in the kitchen.

Whether your family enjoys chicken, turkey, ham, or lasagna for Christmas dinner, there is a delectable crockpot recipe to keep the tradition alive and cut down on your hours in the kitchen. You can also make yummy sides in the crockpot or a warm batch of hot chocolate. Give one or more of these yummy Christmas crockpot recipes a try this holiday season. Grandma won’t even be able to tell the turkey wasn’t roasted in the oven.

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Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
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